Helmets

Forwarded message:
> From bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu Sat Mar 25 01:35:08 1995 Message-Id:
> <9503250633.AA15430@uqcspe.cs.uq.oz.au> To: unicycling (Unicycling mailing
> list) Subject: Helmets Date: Sat, 25 Mar 95 16:33:09 +1000 From: Julian Orbach
> <julian@cs.uq.oz.au>
>
>
> I have just ridden/walked in to work on a Saturday just to see how long it
> takes (50 minutes), and whether a one-whe^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hunicycle is a viable
> method of commuting.
>
> As some of the route involves “bike-ways” which are actually just
> back-streets (as opposed to specialised bike-tracks), I was considering the
> purchase of a helmet.
>
> What’s the consensus here? Are helmets a pre-requisite for outdoor unicycling?

I wouldn’t say they are a prerequisite, but they’re not a bad idea. I have one
because when my wife got a bicycle, I said she should have a helmet. She pointed
out that I ride the uni on the road somewhat, so I should have one too. I guess
I should have kept quiet.

Here’s the stuff I have accumulated for my commute. None of it is necessary, but
it it how things have worked out:

Helmet

Rear-view mirror - This is a major lifestyle improvement. It is easy to
see who’s behind you without twisting back. This is the item here that I
like the most.

Reflective vest - My aunt got this for me because I end up riding in the dark in
the winter.

Flashing LED blinker - My wife got this for me to make me more visible.

Backpack - for my work clothes.

Cycling computer - A fun item that lets me track miles, and compare the relative
speed of my trips.

>
> Here in Australia they are compulsory for bicyclists but riding a unicycle on
> the roads is probably flaunting far more laws than just that. I will have to
> rely on the goodwill of any police who see me.

I end up riding on the sidewalk if the street is busy at all. I’ve found that
cars steer a real wide berth around me, even crossing the double yellow line,
which worries me. I’m glad they are not trying to take me out, but I don’t want
to be the cause of an accident.

Beirne

Beirne Konarski | Subscribe to the Unicycling Mailing List bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu
| Send requests to unicycling-request@mcs.kent.edu “Untouched by Scandal” |
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| http://nimitz.mcs.kent.edu/~bkonarsk/

Re: Helmets

Forwarded message:
> From bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu Sat Mar 25 14:51:07 1995 Date: Sat, 25 Mar 1995
> 19:45:23 GMT From: Unicycler@juggler.demon.co.uk (Jimmy Brokaw) Reply-To:
> Unicycler@juggler.demon.co.uk Message-Id: <2979@juggler.demon.co.uk> To:
> unicycling Subject: Re: Helmets X-Mailer: PCElm 1.10 Lines: 17
>
> In message <199503251154.GAA19857@condor.mcs.kent.edu> Beirne Konarski writes:
> >
> > Rear-view mirror - This is a major lifestyle improvement. It is easy to see
> > who’s behind you without twisting back. This is the item here that I like
> > the most.
> >
>
> That sounds great, and I’ve considered it before. But how and where do you
> attach it?

The one I have clips on to my glasses. If you don’t wear glasses you are left
with buying a helmet and buying a rear-view mirror that sticks to the helmet.

Beirne

Beirne Konarski | Subscribe to the Unicycling Mailing List bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu
| Send requests to unicycling-request@mcs.kent.edu “Untouched by Scandal” |
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| http://nimitz.mcs.kent.edu/~bkonarsk/

Re: Helmets

Julian Orbach wrote:
|> What I really want to do is get an old bike helmet and cut it in half,
|> leaving the straps intact, to make a unicike helmet. I think it would

Julian, is “unicike” a slip of the keyboard, yet another word for unicycle, or
just to check if I’m really paying attention :slight_smile: ?

Regards, Jack Halpern

Kanji Dictionary Publishing Society 1-3-502 3-Chome Niiza, Niiza-shi, Saitama
352 JAPAN Voice: +81-048-481-3103 Fax: +81-048-479-1323

Re: Helmets

Forwarded message:
> In a message to the Unicycling Mailing List, Beirne wrote:
>
> > The one I have clips on to my glasses. If you don’t wear glasses you are
> > left with buying a helmet and buying a rear-view mirror that sticks to the
> > helmet.
>
> I like the idea of not having to twist my head around whenever I cross a
> road/driveway; as I mentioned in a post last year, I think it is one of the
> more risky manuoevres during normal riding, because you have to be looking
> along the driveway, and both ways along the road parallel to you, while
> worrying about the dip of the driveway.

I agree here. Riding while looking backwards puts me at a bad angle and I’ve
taken some nasty falls doing it.

>
> Are we talking a conventional glass rear-view mirror here?

The clip is plastic, with a mirror set in. The mirror seems to be plastic too.
The mirror part is in the shape of a circle, about an inch(2.54 cm) in diameter.
Here’s what it looks like in ASCII, drawn to scale on my screen:

+=====================+
|| |
|| =================
|| || || ||
|| || || ||

^
|
mirror The + signs are ball and socket joints. This is the kind that clips
to glasses.

>
> Is it just me or do other people see an incongruity here? Placing a glass
> mirror stuck to a helmet which is designed to stay close to your head in case
> of a hard knock sounds to me like a good way to end up with a badly lacerated
> face, even if your skull is protected.

I’d worry more about my glasses than I do about the bicycling rear-view mirror.
It’s a remarkably well designed and safe product.

> Also, what is your experience regarding their practicality as rear-view
> mirrors? I find the idea of a blind-spot on a unicycle amusing. Do you have to
> turn your head to check anyway, or can you get a reasonably large view?

I end up turning my head slightly, maybe about 30 degrees. I also end up
adjusting it a lot, trying to get the optimal angle. Ideally it is supposed to
be somewhat close to the head, to minimize head movement. It should also be up a
little bit. The blind spot hasn’t been much of a problem, since by the time
something is in it I don’t have to think about it.
>
> How stable is it? Can you make things out with all the jitter?

No problem. Since it is attached to my head, the frame of reference is stable.
Even though the mirror is small it provides a large field of vision since it so
close to the eye. Things don’t jiggle too much, and in any case I’m looking for
cars or other cycles, so I don’t need a whole lot of detail.

The brand I got is called “Third Eye”, and it cost about US$12 at a bike shop. I
don’t know about overseas availability.

BTW, I left a couple of commuting items off of my earlier list. I carry a tire
patch kit in my backpack or fanny pack, and I lash a small tire pump inside the
wheel, parallel to the spokes, with a bungee cord.

Beirne

Beirne Konarski | Subscribe to the Unicycling Mailing List bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu
| Send requests to unicycling-request@mcs.kent.edu “Untouched by Scandal” |
Unicycling Web Page:
| http://nimitz.mcs.kent.edu/~bkonarsk/